Two Questions Change Everything

Two Questions Change Everything

Ordinary folks like you and me can make a tremendous difference in the world. Sometimes we kick back and say, "What could I do?" I'm not just talking about big, international disasters. I'm talking about how you live your life, how you approach your work, how you relate to those around you.

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Typhoon Yolanda: Lessons Learned From the Mayor

Typhoon Yolanda: Lessons Learned From the Mayor

Today was a strange day. I started feeling a bit sick yesterday. I spent most of the night wishing I had a sit-down toilet. I’m a big fan of Pepto Bismol. It really isn’t fun to sleep under a mosquito net when you have to keep getting up. The worst thing is when you think you're ready to go back to bed, you climb back under the net, get the net repositioned and stretch back out for a good night sleep and then, nope, I have to crawl out from under the net and tiptoe across the room so I don’t wake the rest of the team as I go back to the bathroom which is now leaking from a panel in the ceiling despite the fact that it isn’t raining outside. I’m not sure that I really want to know why. I’m not sure if the floor above us has filled up like a swimming pool or if there is a broken pipe or what. I just don't want the panel to come swinging open and have 50 gallons of murky water come down on my head! Focusing on the job at hand, I hurried up and went back to bed only to repeat the exercise four or five times last night.

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Typhoon Yolanda: Unstoppable

Typhoon Yolanda: Unstoppable

Today is Thanksgiving! It really doesn’t feel like it. Usually, at home I’m up early and starting my day long relationship with a couple of turkeys. Today, most likely, we are going to have MREs (Military Meals Ready to Eat) and maybe some special freeze-dried desserts from REI. In a storage, simplistic way, I was looking forward to it. And… I was thankful. After all, it is Thanksgiving. There are so many things that I take for granted: Toilets that you can sit on and that you don’t have to flush with a bucket, water the comes out of the faucet that you can drink, Internet access, a bed, a shower with hot or cold water (that you can drink if you want to), sleeping without a mosquito net to get tangled in, and more. Yep, I’m thankful alright. Number one, I have a roof. Number two, it doesn’t leak.

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Typhoon Yolanda: A Nail-Biting Escape!

Typhoon Yolanda: A Nail-Biting Escape!

First thing this morning, Kelly (the IMC Logistics Specialist) and I headed over to the EVMRC (Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center) so I could introduce him to the Department of Health logistics folks. They were so well organized that despite working without any lights, they had inventoried all of their supplies and put it in an Excel spreadsheet. That may seem like to big deal but the supplies were in individual bottles overflowing from cardboard boxes stacked all around the dark rooms. The counts had to be done by flashlight even during the daytime. Kelly was able to copy it on a thumb drive. It was impressive! In the midst of all of this, the people that had lost so much were still striving for excellence and giving their all. It is so powerful and life changing to see people who realize that, despite their tremendous loss, they have the power to make a difference and the passion to put other people first.

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How to Kill Problem Solving Before It Begins

How to Kill Problem Solving Before It Begins

I hate tailgating. I’m not talking about the type of tailgating that occasionally happens when someone isn’t paying attention; I’m talking about deliberate tailgating. The kind where you can’t even see the headlights of the person behind you. Slamming on the brakes isn’t an option. They are so that if you touch the brakes they will end up in your back seat! Then they start flashing their lights (like you could see them) and blasting their horn! Have you ever had one of these knuckleheads on your tail? How do you usually respond? Do you get angry? Do you “flip them off” or just give them the evil eye as they pass by? If you had your way, what do you think should be done to these folks?

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